Today being Throwback Thursday (and therefore time for a Memories of Meals Past post), I’m going to write up a recipe for a pie I made last weekend. I went to a St. Patrick’s day party last Saturday, and all the guests were supposed to bring drinks, but seeing as it was also Pi Day, I decided to bring a pie instead! I looked around my kitchen and tried to figure out what sort of pie to make.
I usually have frozen fruit in the freezer, so I looked in there and found some strawberries from when I last went berry-picking. I also was craving some sort of creamy, custardy pie, and having made Dorie Greenspan’s Pink Grapefruit Tart recently, which had a cremeaux base (a sort of thick custard), I decided to add a layer of lime cremeaux. Why lime? It’s what was in the fridge. Yup, last minute pies mean that you use what you’ve got!
The pie dough itself was my favourite vodka pie crust, with a combo of butter (for taste) and shortening (for flakiness) in the dough. I tried a new pie edging technique, and learnt about the necessity of blind baking. You see, I was starting to run short on time because I was also making a Canadian meat galette for the DH (recipe to come in a future post), so I tried to cut out the blind baking part when baking the pie crust for the cremeaux pie.
Yeah…um, don’t do that!
The bottom of the pie bakes up all bubbly and stuff, which I don’t care about since it’s being topped with stuff, but the sides tend to sort of slide down and become lop-sided. Not exactly the picture of perfection, although it tastes perfectly delicious.
And then when I made the strawberries in glaze for the top, I didn’t decorate it to the pie’s best advantage. Hence the lack of gorgeous photos of this pie! But…it was a HUGE hit! Almost everyone who tasted it asked for the recipe and an 11-year-old at the party made a point of coming up to me and complimenting me on it. (Quite the self-possessed kid, I have to say!)
So here’s the recipe! Learn from my mistake and blind bake the dough, though!
Strawberry & Lime Cremeaux Pie
- 1 vodka pie crust
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 c. sugar
- 1 pkg. unflavoured gelatin
- 3/4 c. water
- 7/8 c. butter
- 3/4 c. lime juice
- 2 c. frozen strawberries
- 1/4 c. heavy cream (if you like super-creamy custards — otherwise, omit)
Roll out the dough and transfer to a pie plate. Crimp the edges in a satisfactory fashion (I did half crimping and half cookie cutter cut-outs — was pretty!) and blind bake in an oven at 450 degrees until golden. Remove baking weights (I use dried chickpeas) and let cool.
Mix lime juice and 1/2 c. sugar together. Over medium heat, stir in eggs and cook until thickened, stirring continuously. This will be a while but don’t walk away from the stove. When it’s nice and custardy-thick, you can pour it into a blender. Take gelatin (less one tsp.) and mix it with 1/2 c. water until dissolved. Add that to the mixture in the blender and blend. Then add in the butter, a few chunks at a time and blend til it’s all smooth. You can add in the cream and blend again. Pour it into a bowl, cover it with plastic, and stick it in the freezer for a good 30 minutes, or until it’s thick enough to stand a spoon in. Not thick enough? Stick it back in the freezer. 🙂 I know that this isn’t the standard way to thicken a cremeaux, but eh, it works and it saves time.
While the cremeaux is thickening, you can mix the frozen strawberries with the remaining sugar, and add in the remaining tsp. of gelatin (after you’ve mixed with the remaining water and let it ‘bloom’). Stir the mixture occasionally over medium heat until the strawberries are defrosted and the glaze is sticky and gelatinous.
To put it all together: spread the lime cremeaux into the cooled, baked pie crust. Place the strawberries in a nice design on top and gently pour the syrupy glaze over the whole thing. Let sit in the fridge until the glaze is set. And dig in and enjoy! Yum!
Next Post: Maybe that Canadian Meat Galette? Obviously veg-style though. Or perhaps the next cook-a-long recipe, a shortbread-chocolate-caramel-popcorn square? Mmm…now I want caramel popcorn! *drool*